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How do you process the applications?
Oldham County Community Scholarships receives applications from students who attend a high school within Oldham County, as well as students who reside in the county but are either home-schooled or attend public/private schools outside our county. After receiving the applications, we remove the identity of each student so that each application is non-identifiable – we pride ourselves in the practice of selecting winners based on an applicant number and not a person. Only one person on our board knows the student name and the number and that person is removed from the scoring process, all other board members and volunteers only know the applicant number.
What are some types of criteria that OCCS sponsors consider?
Sponsors set their own criteria. The following lists are examples of criteria that our sponsors consider.
Students who have:
- Attended or graduated from a specific Oldham County school
- Demonstrated leadership during the high school years
- Families who pay City of Crestwood taxes
- Financial need
- Participated in sports/dance/cheerleading (in school and out of school)
- Student and family membership with the PTA/PTSA/PTO
- Worked part-time or full-time during the high school years
Students who are:
- A resident of Pewee Valley or the City of Goshen
- Active within clubs/organizations sponsored by the high school
- Active with the Methodist church
- Actively involved with the Big Brother Big Sister organization
- Actively volunteering within the community
- Attending a Community College
- In support of the Oldham County Public library and have a current library card
- Involved in non-school sponsored Clubs/Organizations (i.e. Church group, 4H, Scouts, Youth in Action, Interact Club, etc.)
- Paying out of state tuition
- Planning a career as a First Responder (EMT/Fire Fighter/Police/Criminal Justice)
- Planning a career in journalism or web media (must submit 3 samples of your work)
- Pursuing a degree in one of these areas of study:
- Business/Hotel & Restaurant Management
- Education (Elementary/Secondary or High School teacher)
- Library science, Info. technology, statistics, technical writing, journalism, or English
- Medicine or Science
- Pre-med to become a physician
- Physical Therapy
- Veterinary medicine, equestrian related field, animal science
- Visual or performing arts
How do the applications get scored?
All sections are scored based on a rubric that provides guidelines to apply a score to each section of the application with minimal decision-making. Each score is then entered into an Excel spreadsheet and the final selection is based on the top scores.
How do you judge the essays?
All student essays are read by three (3) judges and the final score for each essay is the average of all 3 judges.
How is a final decision made?
The Oldham County Community Scholarships board goes above and beyond what is expected of a scholarship selection committee. We do this to ensure that an impartial review and selection process is used when selecting scholarship recipients. Our organization is proud that we provide an easy method for students to apply and receive scholarships.
Who scores the applications?
With the help of over 30 community volunteers the applications are scored, ranked, and sorted according to the criteria of each sponsor.
Do the sponsors have any input on the selection process or is it totally at the discretion of the board?
Each sponsor is strongly encouraged to send representatives from their business or organization to score the applications, but the Oldham County Community Scholarships committee selects recipients based on the criteria set by each sponsor. The scores are tallied in an Excel spreadsheet and the OCCS awards committee board members select the applicant with the highest score that matches the criteria of that sponsor.
When are applications scored?
Sessions are conducted in the morning and evening from the beginning of March through the beginning of April. All scoring sessions are open to the public. We are always looking for volunteers to help –please think about joining us!
The rejection letter I received stated, “the number of students who applied to the program exceeded the amount of dollars we had to distribute”. With these limitations, why are several students awarded more than one scholarship when many are deserving?
Scholarships are awarded to those applicants who best match the criteria of each scholarship. Many times, a student’s qualifications match those of several awards. In this case, we will award up to two scholarships amounting up to $1,500 to any one student.
If I don’t submit an essay will I still be eligible for scholarships?
Yes, however; you will only be eligible for about 28% of the scholarships we award.
Why would an applicant be disqualified?
Applicants can be disqualified for several reasons: incomplete content, submission of false information, lack of signatures, essay guidelines not followed, etc. A complete list of guidelines can be found with the application at the time of completion.
I did not receive a scholarship and I have a 4.0 GPA and I was active in school. What could I have done to improve my chances?
Remember, every sponsor defines their own criteria for awarding their scholarships and Oldham County Community Scholarships matches student applications with their criteria. Here are ways to increase your chances to get a scholarship:
– Complete ALL sections of the application
– Proofread to be sure nothing was missed
– Submit an essay
– Don’t state your name on your essay
– Write at least 500 words on your essay
– Provide contact information for your employment
– Provide contact information for school activities
– Provide contact information for volunteer work